BEIRUT – Tanks were deployed in a district of Latakia which resounded with gunfire on Saturday, according to Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the Observatory of Human Rights in Syria, based in London. The city of northwestern Syria has witnessed major protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
About twenty tanks and armored troop carriers were deployed in the district of Al-Ramel with the outbreak of gunfire, he said.
A resident of Latakia on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal confirmed the presence of the military to al-Ramel.
The suppression of protest has intensified in recent weeks, attacking government troops in several cities. The movement of human rights estimates that at least 1,700 civilians have been killed since the protests began in mid-March.
Friday, soldiers opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters demanding the departure or death for some of President Assad. At least 14 protesters were killed in the day, plus two others in the morning, a total of at least 16 dead, according to assessments provided by several groups of human rights.
The head of American diplomacy, Hillary Clinton on Friday called for an international embargo on oil and gas from Syria, urging Damascus’s allies to rally “on the right side of history” and break their links with the regime of Bashar al-Assad.